A LEADER of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was killed in a shootout during a law enforcement operation in Zamboanga City, the police said Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, identified the slain suspect as Arrasid Adjing Halissam ,alias Guru Ara, a mid-level leader of the ASG who was killed around 3 a.m. Tuesday on Margarita Drive in San Roque village.
Ylagan said that Halissam opened fire as he tried to escape, prompting the arriving troops to return fire, killing the ASG leader.
Ylagan said the troops recovered from Halissan a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition, a grenade, and components of improvised explosive device (IED).
The suspect was recently monitored in Zamboanga City facilitating the recruitment of new members of Dawlah Islamiya (DI) and acted as financial conduits of DI and ASG.
Ylagan said that Halissam is a trusted associate of the slain emir of all Islamic State forces in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, as both pledged allegiance to the ISIS in 2014.
Halissam is also the facilitator of late Malaysian international terrorist Zulkipli Bin Hir alias Marwan, he added.
He said Halissam is a member of the ASG-Zamboanga cell and was involved in various kidnappings and bombings.
Ylagan said among the atrocities Halissam was involved are: kidnapping and beheading of businessman Doroteo Gonzales in 2009 in Buenavista village, Zamboanga City; kidnapping of Kevin Lunsmann, Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann and Romnick Jakaria in July 2011 in Tictabon, Zamboanga City; kidnapping of Australian Warren Richard Rodwell in December 2011 in Pangi, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; kidnapping of two Chinese Nationals Yuan Lin Kai and Jian Luo on June 4, 2012 in Poblacion, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay; kidnapping of Sabrina Ikbala-Voon on February 19, 2014 in Mercedes, Zamboanga City; bus terminal bombing in Guiwan, Zamboanga City on January 23, 2015 that resulted in the death of two people and injury of 52 others; kidnapping of Nwi Seong Hong, a Korean National in January 2015 in R.T. Lim town, Zamboanga Sibugay; and kidnapping of six Jehovah's Witness members and their Muslim guides in Sulu on August 20, 2002 wherein two of the victims were beheaded. (SunStar Zamboanga)